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Photo of Colleen Young, MA, LMFT

colleen young, ma, lmft

Therapist, Co-Founder, Clinical Therapy Director

It is an honor to walk alongside those on their path towards finding
their way back home to self in a world that can be difficult and
inhospitable. My vision since cofounding Liberating Jasper in 2018
has been to support others on their journey towards freedom and
liberation, be it in the capacity as a therapist, or as a supervisor to
therapists and students working in the eating disorder field.

As a licensed marriage and family therapist with 15 years of
experience, a Certified Body Trust® Provider since 2016, and a
Washington state approved supervisor, I naturally bring a systemic
and inclusive lens to the populations with whom I work. I practice
from a body liberation, Health at Every Size®, social justice,
somatic, and spiritual lens. With a long background in social
activism, I am always listening for ways to support clients and
clinicians in dismantling their internalized systems of oppression,
which might be influencing their access to freedom and care. As a
white, cis, able-bodied person, I am committed to investigating the
ways my privileges contribute to the marginalization of others.

My lived experience is why I do this work and why I have dedicated
my life to helping those whose voices are the least often heard and
most marginalized. I developed an eating disorder at the onset of
puberty to simultaneously cope with grief and family tragedy, and
with a body that was different from most. I was born with a genetic
anomaly called Poland Syndrome, have a large burn scar on one
arm, and am a natural redhead (a rare genetic abnormality). After
puberty, my eating disorder and body hatred continued to rage for
decades. What I lost most during those years was my trust in self
and my connection to my body, mind, and spirit. I channeled my
self-loathing and body hatred into activism, fighting the “good fight”
in animal rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, and gender equity.

After over a decade in activist work, I decided it was time to
become a therapist. I was hoping to find my own healing alongside
my work with others, and that is exactly how it went. During that
time, I also became a parent and then a single mom to a
neurodiverse child. In seeking interventions for my child and
advocating on their behalf, I began to recognize neurodiversity in
myself and was diagnosed with ADHD later in life. From that
experience, I began to understand more deeply the eating disorder
and body distress I had experienced for decades. I feel so fortunate
that now, in midlife, I can incorporate the full spectrum of myself
into my work with clients. I now give myself the permission to be
my authentic self, and I hope to inspire others to do the same.

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